The Top 3 Travel Credit Cards for 2020

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Points, miles, rewards and more! We’ve scanned the current travel credit card landscape and have identified our top 3 travel credit cards for 2020.

If you are like me, you hate paying for travel. Much better to get someone else to pay for it. Maybe it’s mixing in some Bleisure travel as part of a work trip. Or better yet, like millions of people do each year, you use credit card points and miles combined with airline, hotel and rental car loyalty programs to travel hack your way to free trips, stays and more.

If that’s you, then this post is FOR you. Even if you are newb or a salty points and miles veteran, there’s something here for everyone. Here are the Top 3 Travel Credit Cards for 2020.

Top 3 Travel Credit Cards

Our selection of the Top Travel Credit Cards for 2020 is based on a few factors including:

  • total value to the traveler – all up
  • what you can actually do with the points
  • versatility of the card
  • additional perks or features beyond points or miles
  • 2020 offer
  • annual fee

Keep in mind what I value as a traveler may not necessarily align to what you value so there is some level of subjectivity here. That said, I believe this is a strong list.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is top of the pile when it comes to travel credit cards and, in our opinion, remains the best overall travel credit card here in 2020. This card is currently offering 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening. This translates into roughly $750 in travel if you redeem it through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Here’s why we love this card:

  • 2x points on travel (and dining) worldwide (its 1 point for every dollar you spend on other stuff) which really allows you to rack up the points
  • 25% more value for those points when you book that travel through the Chase portal. This means your personal travel can go a little further within the system
  • You can transfer your points to most leading airline and hotel programs
  • Low annual fee of only $95.00

Other perks include:

  • 5x Lyft points (it’s really the 2x points you get for travel already – see previous bullet – and another 3x points for the Lyft promo). This offer is good through 2020
  • Not a huge zinger for me, but the current offer also includes a DoorDash discount with no delivery fees for a year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fee: $95

Why you should get it: If you are looking for a simple to use credit card with a great bang-for-your-buck without a nutty annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an easy choice. Many folks consider this the perfect starter card for folks getting into the points and miles game.

American Express Platinum Card

With the American Express Platinum card you can earn 60,00 rewards points after spending $5,000 in your first three months.

Here’s why we love this card:

  • Perks, perks and more perks. This card features a healthy package of additional perks including Uber VIP status and $15 in free rides every month (yes…EVERY month).
  • 5x rewards on flights booked via the American Express portal. Same goes for hotels.
  • [FTW!] Access to the Global Lounge collection. This is maybe my favorite. As someone who doesn’t spend any money buying lounge memberships this is a nice perk. BTW…this includes Centurion lounges.

Other perks include:

  • $200 airline fee credit (meaning, pick a qualifying airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits per year when incidental fees are incurred. These may include checked bags and in-flight purchases)
  • $100 credit for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • $100 credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

Annual fee: $550. While the $550 annual fee is a bit steep the overall benefits keep the American Express Platinum in my wallet.

Why you should get this card: The piles of perks bring this card towards the top of a busy travel credit card market, but the lounge access is why the American Express Platinum Card is in our top 3 travel credit cards for 2020.

American Express Hilton Aspire

The American Express Hilton Aspire card is packed with benefits for card holders. Earning Hilton Diamond Status is the cherry on top of this cake but there are many other interesting benefits this card provides those who hold it including:

  • $250 in Hilton Resort statement credits
  • $250 in Airline Fee Credits
  • $100 on property credit
  • Priority Pass Membership
  • 2 Weekend Reward Nights per year
  • 14 Points per dollar spent at Hilton Property (and because you are a Diamond, which means 20 extra points per dollar, you are really earning 34 points per dollar)
  • 7x Points on airfare
  • Trip delay service / Trip cancellation coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fee: $450 Annual Fee. A little steep, but still pretty reasonable.

Why you should get it: Diamond status. As someone who has earned Diamond status the hard way, this is a very nice benefit. If you are the kind of person who stays a lot in Hilton’s each year, but not a LOT LOT, the Hilton American Express Aspire gets you elite status. Easy peasy.

Additionally, the bonus points you earn when using the card to pay for Hilton stays explodes your points each stay. Which means more free stays!

Honorable Mention

Only 3 credit cards cards can make the top 3 travel credit cards for 2020, but there are a few more credit cards that made our honorable mention list.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card from Chase

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass may be the best perk in the air travel business and one common way you can earn this is through the use of the right Southwest Credit Card. My favorite is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.

Current bonus is: 75,000 points

United Explorer Card from Chase

I’ve been burning a hole in my United Explorer card the last few months. As someone who’s made the switch from Southwest as my preferred airline to United (company policy) I snagged this card immediately. The sign up bonus already paid for 2 of my family members’ trip to London in a few weeks and I’ve got a trip to DC in sight – using points, of course. For United flyers, this is a must-have.

Current bonus is: 60,000 miles

Thank you & Happy Traveling

What’s your favorite travel credit card? What caught your eye as the calendar turned over this year? Any cards we need to hear about? Drop us a comment…we’d love to hear from you!

As always we appreciate each and every visit from our readers. Stay safe out there and happy traveling!

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. “Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

5 comments on “The Top 3 Travel Credit Cards for 2020

  1. Stephanie Woods

    I have the AMEX Platinum, and love my card. You also get cruise privileges. But you don’t get$200 airline credit and $200 baggage credit. In fact, you can’t use the airline credit towards fares. You get $200 at a US based airline for ancillary air fees such as baggage, lounge entry, entry. What you use it for is highly dependent on the airline you pick.

    1. The C Boarding Group Post author

      Agreed, it could be stated clearer. The Amex website notes:

      Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card Account. I’ve edited it.

  2. Amal Owasi

    Hi! I live in Dubai and i wanted to ask if these cards work for UAE as well. Since travel can be expensive for international destinations, there’s always room for saving money on hotel and flight booking. What cards work in UAE and which ones offers the best discounts on online flight booking and can rewards can be used on travel booking.


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